Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Outfits

I can never be like one of those amazing fashion bloggers (Chloe!!!) because I don't have the right camera or a tripod or anything like that. I took these with my Blackberry, shooting into the mirror and half the time my bathrobe was hanging from the door and my head was cut off. But here ya' go!

This is the purple whirly skirt my husband bought me at Old Navy last weekend. It was on sale for $14.99, regularly still only $24.99. Just a fun summer cotton skirt! It is definitely purple but photographs kind of pink.

This purple necklace (a gift) completes the outfit.

I decided not to do it with leggings this time. Gold sandals by BP from Nordstrom.

Hey, I have a head.


This is my flower ring from Charlotte Russe. Only $8 - a steal.

This is one of my favorite tops from Von Maur. In fact, one of two of the last tops I bought at Von Maur in West Des Moines right before I began my Year of No Shopping. Little did I know it would be one of my last purchases. I paired this top with a shrug, also from Von Maur, and a belt from a cocktail dress, also from Von Maur.

Where's Weather Pixie?

You know I love the Weather Pixie and I have her on the sidebar of both of my blogs. She has been MIA since what? February??

I follow Weather Pixie on Twitter and this is what I know:

the server weatherpixie lives on has trashed its hard disks, we’ll be back once the servers owner gets back from snowboarding…

Okay, I really hope this server owner is back from snowboarding soon!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Decision Time

Thanks everyone for all the comments on the post below about whether or not this very blog should become Private. I had several lovely comments.

I love that I influenced someone to wear Pink Sugar!

I think I will keep my blog open because of all the great, fun new people I keep meeting along the way.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Random Thoughts About St. Patrick's Day

I have never found a 4-leaf clover

I am Irish on my mom’s side of the family

I once dated a guy whose birthday was March 17th. He and another guy later got into a fist fight over me in the parking lot of my office…and I was the one who got in trouble.

I also remember once trying to go on a date on St. Patrick's Day with a new boyfriend, but my soon-to-be ex-boyfriend took my car keys away from me so I couldn't go. I was furious.

Under my professional looking jacket, I am wearing a T-shirt with a Green Snoopy drinking green beer
I drive a green car, do I still have to wear green?

When I was little, my dad used to go out of his way to stop at McDonalds after work and bring me Shamrock shakes. To this day, Shamrock Shakes remind me of my dad who I miss every day.

I don't like green beer or corned beef

I love Lucky Charms cereal – it is magically delicious.

Colin Farrell is hot.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Would You Like These In Your Easter Basket?

My friend, Katie, sent me a link to these on Etsy.

Deviled egg-shaped soap that smells like wasabi and cucumbers.

Granted I love, love, love to eat deviled eggs, but not sure how I feel about them as soap!

Monday, March 15, 2010

To Go Private Or Not?

So last Wednesday and Thursday, for a brief period of about 12 hours from 10 p.m., Wednesday to 10 a.m., Thursday my blogs went dark. Yes, I made them private and available only by invitation.

I managed to gather some emails of regular readers with the plan to send out invitations....but then I changed my mind and made them public again.

You are probably wondering why, after practically 3 years of blogging, I did this. And the answer is simple. Silly me finally realized that just anybody could read my blogs. Like, say, my husband's boss. Yes, of course, I know whatever I write is out there on the world wide web for anyone to peruse.

But Wednesday night it was revealed to me over a few Happy Hour glasses of wine just who was reading it. And, of course, they clued my husband in. While my husband has a vague idea that I have a blog, he doesn't really show that much interest in any kind of social media, let alone my blog. He might have a slight curiosity about my No Shopping blog, but not my Random Thoughts. He gets enough of my random thoughts in our daily lives together.

But anyhow I had a moment of panic where I decided I didn't want just anyone reading my blog, but just as quickly the following morning I changed my mind. Because a great deal of my readers are people who have just stumbled across my blog and if I make my blog private, I won't get any new readers who will find me that way. And there might be readers who I don't know about since they have never left me a comment?

So, for now, the blogs remain open to all and if I do eventually decide to make one or both private again, I will give a 30-day notice and give everyone time to email me their addresses. But here are a couple of questions for you. Do you make your blogs private, available only to invited readers and, if so, why? And would you ever consider writing an anonymous blog?

One last question, do you read my blog but have never left me a comment?

That's all!

Words To Melt My Heart

A month or so ago I gave out some Sunshine Awards and one of them was to one of my favorite bloggers, Andie at Sweet Southern Spirited.

And, y'all, she said the nicest things about me when she accepted her award. I just had to share!!

She called me sunshine-y!

I was quite flattered to receive this award from Lesli, as she's a pretty sunshine-y person and it's a great compliment to receive an award from someone who is as cheerful (if not more so) than I strive to be. If you have been reading my blog for any length of time- then you may know that I am an optimistic soul and I always approach life as an adventure. I like to live life to the fullest, focus on the positive, and not dwell on the negative and I like to spread it around. Lesli- when you gave me this award- you truly did make my day! I always try to spread a little sunshine in some way or form- and you just gave me a reward for it! Thank you!

I love Andie. And I think she may possibly be sending me some Mardi Gras beads? Maybe?

Friday Fun

On Friday, my friend, Amber, came up from Des Moines to spend the day in Minneapolis with me so we could attend the Jodi Picoult book singing. It was our second Jodi book signing. We went last spring, too, when it was held at the Border's in Roseville at Rosedale Mall.

We met at the Perkins in Edina, the one off of 494 and France, which I guess is techically on the Bloomington side. I like that one the best because it seems like the prettiest Perkins with the nicest bakery and a little known secret--this Perkins serves wine!

We met for a mid-afternoon snack. I decided on coffee since I had just had lunch with my husband beforehand. Then were were ready to get going because Amber had two things she wanted to do--go to Trader Joe's (because they don't have them in Iowa) and go shopping at Half Price Books. I think she bought a couple of books at Half Price, and at Trader Joe's I know she was able to get almond butter and peanut butter stuffed pretzels and a bunch of other things that I have forgotten about!

After that we went to yet another Perkins in Edina, this one is the older, smaller one off of Highway 100 and just up to the street from the book signing. My other friend, Donna, met us there for an early dinner and she brought her almost 2-year-old daughter who is quite entertaining at that age. I noted that she eats like an animal except she can use a fork--ha ha! I also found it quite entertaining to tell her a name and have her repeat it back to me, such as Lesli. Noodles. Daisy. Endless entertainment!

Anyhow I ordered the shrimp trio with macaroni & cheese and a piece of cherry pie and then it was time to go to the book signing. It was held at the Edina Middle School auditorium. Minneapolis was very lucky to be able to host a free book singing. Most cities were charging for tickets, as much as $25 or $30. This book signing sponsored by Barnes & Noble was for Jodi Picoult's latest release "House Rules" about a young man with Asperger's Syndrome, which is a high-functioning form of autism.

Amber and I got there plenty early and we had the best seats in the third row right in front of the podium. They were awesome seats. We could have seen every hair on Jodi's head! But then we realized that where we were sitting would make us have to stand in line forever for the book signing after the reading as they were dismissing people from the back of the auditorium and from the opposite side from where we were sitting. We reluctantly gave up our primo seats because we didn't have time to stand in line that long. Amber had to get back on the road. So we switched seats and went to the back. But I think we made the right decision.

After the reading and a Q&A session, which were both really interesting, we were able to get in line for the signing and only wait for maybe 20 minutes or so. It didn't seem that long. Amber had two books to be signed, Jodi Picoult's newest one and her very first one. I was empty handed but she did look right at me and ask me about the bracelet I was wearing. It is my big purple flower bracelet that I bought at Anthropologie last December. She asked me if it ever got caught on anything. I said (brilliantly), no, not really. My moment!


Monday, March 8, 2010

Pretty Eggs & Some Yummy Cereal Treats

The new issue of Martha Stewart Living came today. It is a sunny yellow cover with impossibly perfectly decorated eggs!

While flipping through Martha Stewart, I came across this ad for new Cupcake Pebbles Cereal, too. Looks like you can use this cereal to make some pretty yummy rice krispie-esque bars!


1/2 stick of butter
1 pkg. mini marshmallows
1 box of Cupcake Pebbles
1 can of frosting (ready to spread)

Microwave butter in 4-quart bowl on HIGH for 45 seconds
Add marshmallows, mix to coat
Microwave 1 1/2 minutes or until marshmallows are melted, stirring after 45 seconds.
Add cereal & mix well.

Press cereal mixture into light greased muffin pans to make cupcakes, using about 1/3 cup for each
Cool, remove from pans.
Spread with frosting.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Weekend Randomness, Random Weekendness

Friday I met friends for lunch at Brits Pub. We decided to send my husband a picture of me pretending to be "falling down drunk" and I even had some crutches as a prop. We texted it to him while he was sitting at the airport in Chicago. His only response? Is that a new leopard coat? Did you go shopping?

Ha ha! I have had that leopard coat since 2007 when I was on my way to use the ladies room at Macy's and I came across this cute Guess leopard coat with three-quarter length sleeves before I could find the restroom and, of course, I had to buy it. Yes, that is why I am not shopping this year--because of capricious purchases like that in my past!

I realize this is a horrible picture of me and so unflattering. I look really white and bald!

After lunch I went to Spalon Montage and got a much-needed haircut from Elise. I wanted long layers and side swept bangs. I haven't even had a proper haircut since September when I had 4 inches cut off.

Ta dah!

Friday night Eric finally flew home after a week spent in Ohio for work and then a layover in Chicago. We ordered pizza and just hung out at home.

Saturday we went to lunch at Panera because I love their macaroni & cheese. After that we went to downtown Minneapolis to see the 2010 Auto Show. The fact that I love cars is probably the least girlie part of me, but I do love cars. As long as they are cute sports cars or convertibles. So maybe that is girlie after all.

Besides the auto show has wine and ice cream.

I got to sit in this beautiful blue Mazda convertible

And this sporty Audi TT

And there was a Daisy car there!

I also sat in a lovely Mercedes convertible, but I didn't get a picture of that. But I think I need a Mercedes convertible. No, I really do!

There weren't any Porsches.

After the Auto Show, we went to see "Alice in Wonderland" in 3D. See my 3D glasses--ha ha!

I thought the movie, while it followed the predictable story of Alice, was pretty good--it was magical and enchanting and you must see it in 3D, it just gives it that little added something. The one thing I would have changed was Johnny Depp. As you know, I love him---but I would have made him a HOT Mad Hatter instead of a creepy Mad Hatter. Is that too much to ask??!!

After the movie we went to Red Lobster. It was Lobster Fest! Unfortunately, I was so full from the popcorn that I could only pick at my salad and I didn't have any biscuits or alcohol (shocking I know!). I had a black coffee. And I took my seafood stuffed flounder and rice pilaf home and had it for lunch on Sunday. Note to self, do not eat movie popcorn before dinner!

Sunday was just low key. We ran errands, got groceries, and then I took a majorly wonderful nap with my dog on the foot of my bed and the window open. It is getting warmer, I think Spring is definitely in the air.

Here are just some cute Sunday pictures of my dog, Noodles, and my cat, Brie hanging out!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Friday Wants

I saw these in the new Victoria's Secret catalogue.

I really want to buy them, or can I spin them into some kind of Easter present for myself from Eric?

They have a sweet Daisy print!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cutest Dog Contest!!

UPDATE: Voting is over for now. I will let everyone know if Noodles has advanced to the next round. It depends how good of a nag I was to my friends & how well I got the word out through social media!!

Please vote for my dog, Noodles, in the Cutest Dog Contest. I am shamelessly asking anyone who reads my blog to please vote for my dog--I could win $1,000 and use that money towards a credit card! 5 runner-ups will receive $100.

Plus, Noodles' pride is at stake.

Noodles is in Round 3, the 16th tab, right at the top. Don't mix him up with Sleepy Pete, another Pug! You will need to do a short registration with your user name & password. You can vote every hour.

Thank you for your vote.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Story of Us

I got this idea from my friend Amber at a Little Pink in the Cornfields. Consider it kind of a belated Valentine's Day post, the story of us, me and my husband, Eric.

1. What are your middle names? Mine is Alison and his is Scott

2. How long have you been together? Our first date was June 21, 1999—the first day of summer.

3. How long did you know each other before you started dating? We both worked at the same company—he started working there right after college and I was already working there as a part-time receptionist. We knew each other for 3 years through work before we started dating. Since he was management, we wanted to keep it a secret for as long as possible!

4. Who asked who out? He asked me out.

5. How old are each of you? I always say I am 28 years old, no matter what! He is 6 years younger than me—but you can probably guess he is NOT 22—ha ha!

6. Did you go to the same school? No, not even close

7. Are you from the same home town? No, I am from Des Moines, Iowa and he is from all over—his dad was in the Air Force.

8. Who is the smartest? Well, he is the smartest when it comes to logic and analyzing things and doing math. I am the smartest when it comes to language and the written word and verbal skills. I am more creative and a faster thinker. I am right brained; he is left brained. I hate to admit it, but he probably has a SLIGHTLY higher IQ than me.

9. Who majored in what? He majored in Business and Economics or was it Finance? He initially started out studying Engineering. He went to the University of North Dakota and also Wyoming. I went to school for fashion & design in Minneapolis.

10. Who is the most sensitive? I think he has a hidden sensitive side, but he would never show it. I am emotional and can cry at the drop of a hat and am very empathetic towards animals.

11. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? Well, we have been to Jamaica, the Bahamas and Hawaii—whichever is furthest?? I don’t know!

12. Who has the worst temper? I would have to say me—I am more apt to get mad and let you know, but then I am over it pretty fast. He, on the other hand, never gets mad—he keeps everything inside. But, boy, when he does get mad, watch out. He can explode. Which is why I don’t believe in internalizing things—it will give you an ulcer.

13. How many children do you want? We are not having any children. We have pets, that is good enough for us!

14. Who does the cooking? He cooks for himself, but I don’t eat what he makes since I am a vegetarian. I like to bake though.

15. Who is more social? Definitely me. I am the outgoing one. He calls me the social butterfly. He is more quiet til you get to know him & then he will talk your ear off about boring, technical things.

16. Who is the neat freak? Neither one of us are neat freaks, but I am probably the messier one. I tend to throw my clothes everywhere and there is makeup all over the bathroom counter.

17. Who is the most stubborn? Me. He always gives in to me because I am so stubborn & I won’t give in.

18. Who wakes up earlier? I am the early bird even on weekends. I have to get up earlier for work than he does.

19. Where was your first date? A Mexican restaurant called Rio Bravo in Bloomington. It is not there anymore.

20. Who has the bigger family? He does. I have a super small family—just my mom & brother now. Whereas he has his mom and dad, two sisters, their husbands and 3 nieces and 1 nephew and a grandma still living and a million aunts and uncles all in New Hampshire it seems.

21. Do you get flowers often? Do I get flowers? All the time!! For sure I get them on our wedding anniversary in December, the anniversary of our first date in June, Valentine’s Day and my birthday, but also if he has been a jerk or is on an extended business trip, I get flowers. Or if he just wants to cheer me up.

22. How do you spend the holidays? We like to go away at Christmas, usually to California. I don’t really spend Christmas with my own family anymore since my dad died. A lot of years, he will go visit his family right before Christmas and then we will go on a trip. We spend Thanksgiving by ourselves normally—usually we go to a nice restaurant. A lot of times we spend the 4th of July in New Hampshire with his family. On Easter we do have a tendency to spend it with my mom. Halloween we like to stay home and hand out candy and dress up my dog!

23. Who is more jealous? I would have to say he is – he gets annoyed when guy friends or old boyfriends text me, and then there is the fact that I am a huge flirt so that could have something to do with it.

24. How long did it take to get serious? We started dating in June and I remember him telling me in August that he was falling in love with me. I moved in with him that following March when my lease was up on my apartment.

25. Who eats more? He definitely does. I eat a lot of smaller meals. He can sit down and eat a huge meal—I just can’t do that.

26. What do you do for a living? He is the Director of Information Technology for a financial company and I am the receptionist for a bath and body company.

27. Who does the laundry? We each do our own. Can you believe that? I don’t want him ruining any of my clothes and I am never going to be the kind of wife who does her husband’s laundry. I am just not!!

28. Who's better with the computer? Well, on the technical side of things he definitely is considering he works in IT! But I am more versed in social media and word processing.

29. Who drives when you are together? He always drives—he hates being chauffered around in a car by a woman (ha ha!) and he hates when I put the top down on my car and the wind messes up his hair.

30. What is your song? We don’t have a special song. Is that weird? We don’t even listen to the same kind of music. I like current top 40 and alternative rock and he likes music from the 70s.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pet Peeves

I got this idea from my friend Kristie at Writer's Block. She listed her pet peeves & so I decided to do mine, too.

People who don't use their turn signals

Rudeness and bad manners in all forms

Bad grammar just grates on my ears

Public bathrooms

Wal-Mart, Kmart and Sears - cheap clothes make me itch

The salespeople at, for instance, Gap and Maurices, who try to get to you to sign up for one of their credit cards and don't take no for answer--they ask you 3 times

People who call me and cough in my ear

People who call a company & are completely unprepared for what they are going to say

People who call and complain that they can't hear you because their TVs are turned up too loud

People who let their children run loose in stores & restaurants and on airplanes and don't even attempt to control them or discipline them

People who leave mean anonymous comments on blogs

People who don't keep their word and cancel plans at the last minute all the time
I am sure I could think of more, but these are probably enough. Now I sound all crabby--ha ha!

I don't like to be all negative, so I am going to balance these with some positive things. Things that I like.

People who spell my first name right and my last name, too, and even remember to capitalize the J!

People who let me merge in traffic -- good karma for them

Getting cards in the mail - thank you cards, holiday cards, just because cards

Finding a new writer or a new blog

Fancy bathrooms at nice restaurants and upscale stores

Nordstrom, Tiffanys and Kate Spade

The feeling of paying off a credit card

Dogs and cats

Making new friends through blogging

Keeping old friends and knowing you can count on them

How about you? What are some of your pet peeves? What are some things that you are grateful for?

It's March & What is Good?

It is the first day of March. For quite a while now, I have felt that March is an unlucky month for me and, without going into any details, a lot of bad things have happened to me personally in this month for at least the past 10 years. I know it can also be a self-fulfilling prophecy, so I am trying to think positive thoughts about March. What are some good things about March?

So far I have come up with Girl Scout Cookies (which get delivered tomorrow!), Shamrock Shakes, and Cadbury eggs. Yes, those are all food items!

So help me out! Please tell me some of the good things that you like about March and help me break this curse! I am open to all ideas to help me view March in a more positive light.